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Breastfeeding and what you should eat

The question:
What do I need to eat while breastfeeding a baby? I want to make sure I make good milk. I also know that there are so many foods I'll have to avoid if I am breastfeeding. - Corinn in Port Washington, New York

The Lactation Consultant Answers:

As long as you are eating enough calories from a variety of foods, your milk will contain all the vitamins, protein and fat that your baby needs. Samples of milk from women living in different parts of the world have shown that the composition of breastmilk is remarkably similar regardless of the mother's diet, as long as she is not significantly malnourished.

There is no list of foods that must be avoided while breastfeeding. "Gassy foods" like broccoli, corn or beans, have not been proven to cause distress in babies. Mothers in some parts of the world exist on a steady diet of corn and beans and successfully breastfeed their babies. Studies have shown babies nursed longer at the breast after their moms ate meals cooked with garlic.

Young babies do fuss. Not every evening fussy spell should be attributed to something that you ate.

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